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71% of Gazans suffer from extreme hunger as Israel wields ‘weapon of starvation’: Rights group

Palestinians crowded together as they wait for food distribution in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on November 8, 2023. (Photo by AP)

A Geneva-based rights group has found that 71 percent of people in the Gaza Strip suffer from extreme hunger due to Israel’s devastating war on the Palestinian territory and the regime's method of using starvation as a weapon.

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor released the figure on Tuesday after it conducted an analytical study of a sample of 1,200 people in Gaza.

Some 98 percent of participants at the study said they eat insufficient amounts of food and 64 percent admitted to eating grass, fruits, immature food, and expired materials to satiate their hunger.

The study was published at a time, when Israel has come under fierce criticism for using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare in violation of international law.

Reports say the occupying regime is deliberately blocking the delivery of water, food, and fuel to Gaza, impeding humanitarian assistance and destroying agricultural areas in the besieged territory. 

The Israeli blockade on top of the genocidal aggression has plunged Gaza into a humanitarian catastrophe, where lack of access to sanitation and safe water has increased the prevalence of waterborne diseases. 

The Euro-Med study also found that the rate of access to water in the Gaza Strip, including drinking, bathing, and cleaning water, is 1.5 litres per person per day. The amount is 15 liters less than the minimum amount of water required for survival.

Examining the effects of malnutrition and a lack of access to clean drinking water, the study found that 66 percent of Gaza residents have experienced diarrhea, skin rashes, or intestinal diseases in the past month.

Israel waged the brutal war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas ressitance group carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 19,667 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 52,586 others. Thousands more are also missing and presumed dead under the rubble.

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